Did you know that magnesium is required by the trillions of cells in your body to carry out hundreds of different processes every day? Magnesium is involved with the metabolism of your foods, hormone production, stress modulation, muscle relaxation, bone health and sleep regulation. So you can see why magnesium is a vital nutrient! With this in mind, it is important you are getting enough to ensure your body can perform these functions. Here are my top 10 reasons you may need a little more of this miracle mineral.

You’re not getting enough

Reason 1:Do you belong to 33% of the Australian population not meeting their minimum daily magnesium requirement?[1]

Do you belong to 33% of the Australian population not meeting their minimum daily magnesium requirement?[1]

Recommended dietary intakes (RDIs) for magnesium range from 310 mg/day (females) to 420 mg/day (males),[2] which can easily be obtained from consuming roughly one cup of cooked green vegetables, a handful of nuts, and a raw cacao smoothie. Sounds doable right? Unfortunately, that’s not what everyone is eating, with magnesium deficient refined and processed foods creeping onto people plates. These RDIs also do not take into consideration when your body has an increased demand or is actively deficient in magnesium, meaning you may need even more to meet your needs.

Reason 2: Even if you are eating a diet predominant in wholefoods, modern agricultural practices have unfortunately depleted the soil from many key minerals including magnesium,[3] again making it harder to meet your RDI for magnesium.

You’re losing too much

Reasons 3, 4 & 5: Coffee and tea contain tannins that can decrease the intestinal absorption magnesium. Additionally, caffeine, as well as alcohol have a diuretic effect, increasing the loss of water and minerals, such as magnesium, via the urine.

Reason 6 & 7: Certain medications (such as antibiotics, diuretics and steroids) can cause moderate to severe depletion in magnesium,[4] as can exercise through urinary excretion and sweat. [5]

Reason 8: Did you know about magnesium’s special relationship with stress? Firstly, having a low level of magnesium is associated with the onset of stressful conditions.[6] However, the activation of the stress response then actually increases the use and elimination of magnesium from the body.[7]

This can result in a vicious cycle: low magnesium causes increased stress, which leads to an increase in the use and excretion of magnesium, leading to lower magnesium levels.


low magnesium causes increased stress, which leads to an increase in the use and excretion of magnesium, leading to lower magnesium levels.

On the bright side, this also means that you can use magnesium therapeutically as both a preventative and treatment of stress.

Reasons 9 & 10: Some of the most common presentations seen by healthcare Practitioners are those of poor sleep and fatigue, with low magnesium playing a causative role in both conditions. This is because magnesium is needed to synthesise the relaxing and sleep-promoting neurotransmitters GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and melatonin, as well as being required to produce the energy your cells need to stay firing throughout the day.

Boost your magnesium levels

If you’re now thinking it’s time to increase your magnesium intake, a supplement can be a great way to top up your diet, support an increase in demand or address a deficiency. To make choosing a magnesium supplement available easier, focus on the two points below so you can make the right decision:


When perusing supplement labels, look for how much elementalor equivalent magnesium it contains – 300 mg per dose is an ideal amount.

Dose:

When perusing supplement labels, look for how much elemental or equivalent magnesium it contains – 300 mg per dose is an ideal amount. Talk to your healthcare Practitioner when interpreting supplement labels for further explanation and clarification.

Form:

Not all forms of magnesium are the same, with different types leading to different levels of absorption and tolerability. For example, salt forms of magnesium such as magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate are suboptimal for replenishing magnesium levels, as they can draw water into the bowel and cause diarrhoea. Alternately, amino acid chelate forms, such as magnesium bisglycinate, provide optimal absorption[8] and lower side effects when compared to other forms of magnesium available.

In the instance of magnesium bisglycinate, these superior outcomes are due to magnesium’s chemical bond to the amino acid glycine. Glycine:

  • allows the magnesium to be absorbed via efficient protein channels in the intestine (instead of competitive mineral channels),
  • protects magnesium from binding to things like tannins (ensuring absorption again), and
  • stops drawing water into the bowel (preventing diarrhoea).

Magnesium, the Miracle Mineral

There may be many reasons why you may not be getting enough or may be in need of more magnesium. To learn more about magnesium, watch this short video, listen to Episode 21 of the Your Health Guide podcast, and/or speak to your local healthcare Practitioner to find the right magnesium for you.


[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12 [Internet]. 2015 [updated 2015 Apr 27; cited 2019 Feb 11]. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.008~2011-12~Main%20Features~Magnesium~406

[2] National Health and Medical Research Council. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand [Internet]. 2014

[3] Guo, W, Nazim, H, Liang, Z, Yang, D. Magnesium deficiency in plants: An urgent problem. The Crop Journal [Internet]. 2016 Apr 
4(2): 83-91. DOI: 10.1016/j.cj.2015.11.003

[4] Therapeutic Research Center. Magnesium Professional Monograph [database on the Internet]. 2019 [updated 2019 Jan 29; cited 2019 Feb 11]. Available from: https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=998#nutrientDepletion. Subscription required to view.

[5] Nielsen, F, Lukaski, H. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. Magnesium Research. 2006. [cited 2019 Feb 11]. 19(3): 180-9. DOI: 10.1684/mrh.2006.0060

[6] Cuciureanu, M, Vink, R. Magnesium and stress. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. 2011 [cited 2019 Feb 11]. 251-261. Available from:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29920004

[7] Cuciureanu, M, Vink, R. Magnesium and stress. Magnesium in the Central Nervous System [Internet]. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press. 2011 [cited 2019 Feb 11]. 251-261. Available from:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29920004

[8] Hartle JW, Morgan S, Poulsen T. Development of a model for in-vitro comparative absorption of magnesium from five magnesium sources commonly used as dietary supplements. FASEB Journal. 2016 Apr[cited 2019 Feb 11]. 128(6). DOI: 10.1096/fasebj.30.1_supplement.128.6

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Working adults (ages 18 to 64) represent 63% of the population and account for 72% of all low back pain (LBP) health care visits.1Low back pain has been identified categorically as acute, subacute, or chronic, depending on the onset, duration, and severity.1,2 Risk factors have included occupational posture, depressive moods, obesity, gender, and age, and risk is most likely affected by a combination of several of these variables.2 Low back pain is not a disease but rather a group of signs and symptoms that affects all age groups across the lifespan. It has been shown to be more common from age 35 to 55, with a higher prevalence in women.2,3

The World Health Organization anticipates that as the world population ages, the incidence of LBP will increase substantially and become 1 of the leading conditions for which the aging population will seek out medical intervention.2

Acupuncture may help improve quality of life as well as reduce lost workplace productivity through more effective and sustained pain relief.4,5 Stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues with the application of fine needles may lead to the release of endorphins and other neuro-humoral factors.The expected result is a change in pain processing between the brain and spinal cord.

Acupuncture has demonstrated efficacy in reducing inflammation by promoting the release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors and increasing local microcirculation.6-8 In turn, this may support better joint movement and relief of muscle stiffness as well as aid the healing of swelling and bruising.6,7

While the evidence for acupuncture remains inconclusive, there are a growing number of studies offering clinical support for the benefits of using acupuncture to address LBP.6-10  (See Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine)

Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine

  • Looking at physical attributes such as the face, eyes, gait, and tongue is the first pillar. We examined the map of the tongue as it laid out the internal viscera and details of the tongue such as shape, color, texture, moisture, coating thickness and color, size of the papillae, and movement, as these features can be very revealing.
  • Listening is a second pillar in the evaluation. The patient’s voice might offer evidence of a disturbance or irregular pattern.
  • Palpation is the third pillar. For example, the pulse, like the tongue, presents a blueprint of a patient’s condition. The left and right side of the radial pulse is laid out into 3 sections (from proximal to distal): qi, guan, and cun. Each pair of organs can be recognized within each of these positions. Palpating the pulse is an extremely detailed task requiring complete focus to feel for the quality. The pulse has several attributes that serve as a window between the practitioner and the patient, including the depth, strength, consistency, and even the specific movement in which the blood travels through the vessel.
  • Asking is the final pillar, which revolves around 10 essential questions that directly correlate to the patient’s overall being and constitution. These questions journey from the chief complaint and project to other life behaviors and inclinations that may encompass tendencies to be either hot or cold (or neither), sweating, gastrointestinal (ie, digestion, urination, bowel movements), sleep quality and quantity, emotional status, energy levels, and pain quality and consistency.

Source: Four Pillars of Chinese Medicine. Available at: http://www.china.org.cn/english/health/225768.htm

In this case review, the pain relief achieved by fascial manipulation was demonstrated through the release of superficial stagnation in the tendinomuscular channels that are responsible for pain; this process has been correlated to benefits in the deeper muscular layers and related meridians.11,12 We used Master Tung points in a special 3-needle arrangement called Dao Ma, in conjunction with a method called Dong Qi (movement Qi) in which the needle is manipulated as the patient exercises the affected area.13

We found that acupuncture’s overall therapeutic effects help in reducing the use of medication for back complaints, providing a more cost-effective treatment over a longer period of time (eg, at least 2 years).5,6,9

 

Aritcle: https://www.practicalpainmanagement.com/treatments/complementary/acupuncture/application-acupuncture-treat-low-back-pain